Doctors Laud Proviso in Health Care Bill
August 12, 2009
Washington is abuzz with the newest attempt at bringing affordable, quality health care to America's working families. President Obama, supported by the American Medical Association, has spearheaded an effort to give more American families coverage while making sure that existing coverage is not reduced.
Included in this legislation are many portions which have been cheered by the AARP, the AMA, and many in Congress. These include a public insurance option, electronic records, and private insurance reform. However, many doctors and hospitals have fully backed a clause regarding so-called "fetal reprocessing".
The health care bill presented to the House of Representatives offers $3 billion in direct tax benefits, as well as $1.2 billion in other incentives for this service. It is widely accepted as one of the greatest boons for modern medicine, both financially and scientifically.
Phillip Kimball, MD, who is an orthopedic surgeon at the Princeton Medical Center, helped advise Congressional leaders on the legislation.
"Basically, fetal reprocessing allows fetuses which either were terminated in miscarriages or abortions to be utilized for cutting-edge research. These include the use of stem cells, fetal organs, and especially brain matter."
While there was a large controversy regarding stem cells, Dr. Kimball states that these are not the focus. Instead, the most medically valuable portion of the prenatal infant is brain matter.
"The infant brain is incredibly tactile." Dr. Kimball stated to a group of New Jersey doctors, "By using many of the neurons in our testing, we can understand synapse connectivity and nervous expansion in a way which the adult brain cannot allow us." Dr. Kimball also stated that fetal brain matter could be integral to curing disorders such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation within a decade.
Fetal reprocessing has largely been illegal, due to the fact that most samples would have to be derived from aborted fetuses. As of today, this is illegal under most circumstances. However, the health care reform legislation will promote the idea of abortions as an option for birth control. In turn, this would give hospitals additional fetuses which could be a financial boon for the medical industry.
Many in the pro-life lobby are skeptical of this new health care proviso. However, Dr. Kimball is not one of them. "I think that it's ridiculous to hold up scientific progress for some small extremist group's opinion."
With passage in the House looking increasingly likely after meetings with conservative Democrats, President Obama's agenda appears stronger.